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The Johnson County Fair Grounds 

AUGUST 25, 1910 









The great lieat of the few days preceding the 
meeting culminated in a violent storm of wind, hail 
and rain on the night of the 24th, and when the morn- 
ing of the 25th dawned the storm had not wholly 
passed and plans were made to hold the meeting in a 
hall in the city, but by 10 o'clock a cool northwest 
wind had driven the clouds from the sl^y, and the 
crowd of members began to gather at the cabins on 
the fair grounds, the smoke from the cabin chimney 
showed that Bruce Moore was at his post and that 
the boilers of hot coffee would be ready on time. At 
noon the seats at the well loaded tables were all taken 
and many family groups were seated under the shade 
of the trees about the grounds. After the dinner was 
over the meeting was called to order by President 
Schwimley at the speaker's stand. The invocation 
by Rev. J. T. Jones was followed by a song by W. P. 
Murphy, Elias Hughes, I. N". Rowland, J. C. Stouffer 
and John W. Jayne, with Mrs. M. H. Taylor at the 
organ. On motion the meeting proceeded to the elec- 


Forty -Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

tion of officers for the ensuing year. Euclid Sanders 
was chosen for president and Henry Wieneke re- 
fusing to serve longer as treasurer, Bruce Moore was 
elected treasurer and G. R. Irish was elected secre- 

The election over, Hon. E. Gr. Moon as the orator 
of the day was introduced by the president. At the 
close of Mr. Moon's address Col. W. P. Hepburn was 
called for and taking the stand he gave a very inter- 
esting talk on early times in Iowa City. The speak- 
ing over, the committee on correspondence read 
letters from absent members and the necrological 
committee read their report for the year. The exer- 
cises were enlivened by many songs rendered in 
splendid style by the singers mentioned. 


Senator E. G. Moon's address at the Old Set- 
tlers ' Association meeting was as f oUow^s : 

It affords me more pleasure than I can well ex- 
press to be permitted to meet with the citizens of 
Johnson County on an occasion when so many are 
gathered together. Many times during the past few 
years it has been my good fortune to revisit the scenes 
where the happiest days of my life have been spent. 
It has been with a thrill of pride, on my part, that I 
have claimed to belong to Iowa City, and it has added 
to my love for the place, so much like home to me, to 
have my claims allowed. 

In every part of this great commonwealth; in 
every vocation to which its citizens are called; in 
every part of this great republic and in all stations 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 5 

of life are men and women who look to this spot as 
the place where the best impulses of their lives had 
their origin and where the strongest influences for 
upright living and useful existence began. Among 
them all there is no son of Iowa, no matter how ex- 
alted or humble his station, who owes a greater debt 
to the University than do I, and, I believe there are 
none who pay a greater interest on such a debt if 
love and gratitude maintain a value in the relations 
existing between Alma Mater and her sons. Main- 
taining this feeling toward the University, and asso- 
ciating the University with this community as I do 
it is with sincere expressions of happiness that I visit 
Iowa City and it is always with reluctance that I 

We are met today in honor of that hardy genera- 
tion whose efforts wrought the transformation in this 
western territory and under whose labors grew from 
a wilderness this commonwealth of Iowa. There are 
no sentiments which more strongly appeal to any peo- 
ple than pride of ancestry. It is legitimately so. The 
divine injunction to ^4ionor thy father and thy moth- 
er ' ' is not only a rule of religious conduct but is a law 
of most salutary effect in the development of individ- 
uality among the people of the world. While the 
occasion of our meeting today perhaps had its origin 
in the desire of the pioneers to gather together for 
the purposes of social intercourse denied them by the 
conditions surrounding life in a new country, it is 
now kept up in response to a proper and laudable 
desire on the part of their descendants to honor the 
memories so inseparably linked with the history and 
growth of this great people and this great state. 


Forty-Foitrth Annual Meeting of the 

We share with the people with whose national life 
our lot is cast all of the traditions surrounding the 
early history of the American nation and we rightly 
claim a share of the glory surrounding the struggles, 
military and civil, by which national life began. The 
stirring incidents of early colonial history and the 
thrilling story of later times between the signing of 
the great declaration and the consummation at York- 
town are heritages of ours as much as they are the 
heritages of Massachusetts or Virginia, and the mem- 
ories of them are cherished in Iowa as they are in 
New England and the South. But to them we add 
the more recent achievements of our ancestors in this 
great western country, and, rightly considered, the 
subduing of this great wild, ranks as an achievement 
with the deeds of valor marking the earliest periods 
of our history. 

In speaking of the pioneers of Iowa my theme is 
chosen for me and that theme must be the ' ' strenuous 
life". Not the strenuous life as interpreted by that 
greatest of modern and popular heroes whose ready 
tongue coined the expression and gave it currency. 
Not the strenuous life which deems achievement 
nothing unless it be based upon military strength and 
which deems the peaceable growth of the people with- 
in the borders of its chosen country of small account 
as compared with the pomp and circumstance of mili- 
tary conquest. Not the strenuous life exemplified in 
the desire for a vast military and naval establishment 
maintained for the purpose of upholding our position 
in European and Asiatic quarrels and jealousies that 
rightly concern us little. Not the strenuous life that 
denounces a desire for perpetual peace as ignoble and 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County t 

deems the ravages of war necessary to true greatness ; 
but rather the strenuous life of the pioneers of Iowa 
and the pioneers of this whole western country upon 
whose efforts has been based the possibility of na- 
tional greatness and whose peaceful conquests have 
summed up greater things for the happiness of fu- 
ture generations than can redound to the credit of all 
the military heroes of history. 

I am not immindf ul of the fact that the occupation 
of this great territory involved the encroachment of 
our ancestors upon the previous occupation of the 
Indian tribes. I am not unmindful of the fact that 
that occupation involved some semblance of conquest. 
Viewed in the true light these were mere incidents of 
the redemption of a territory from savagery by the 
necessary preparation of this western continent to 
the uses of civilized humankind. It was character- 
ized by none of the essentials of conquest as we have 
learned to know conquest. It was marked by no per- 
sonal ambitions of rulers and was based upon no 
historic animosity between peoples. In the progress 
of the settlers westward there was no element of in- 
vasion, but there was simply the desire to build within 
the comparatively unoccupied territory the home of 
a mighty people. 

How well the pioneers succeeded is evidenced on 
every hand. Look where you will the proofs of ma- 
terial prosperity, of culture, of growing intelligence 
and confidence in the future abound. It is indeed a 
splendid commonwealth capable of supporting the 
dignity of an empire. Napoleon in the wildest 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

dreams of his mad fancy hardly conceived of what we 
possess and we have thus far little more than begun 
to realize upon our heritage. 

There are those who see in the wealth of our state a 
tendency toward luxury on the part of our people 
which is the precursor of an inferior generation. 
There is here no such tendency. We have, at least in 
this western country, no leisure class. In the days of 
the pioneers and in the days of their descendants up 
to our time, the countr}^ has grown and the country 
grows through the e:fforts of practically all of the peo- 
ple. While our fields yield their abundance and our 
shops their manufactured wealth, they do not in re- 
sponse to a serving class whose efforts support a leis- 
ure class. They do so in response to the labors of 
the people who compose the state and who are the 
state. Such a people does not become inferior and its 
present wealth and comfort no more disqualify it for 
arduous duties of defense than did the strenuous lives 
of the pioneers disqualify them for arduous defense. 

The progeny of those pioneers is not inferior and 
the breed is not less hardy. To keep them so we need, 
only the life we live in building up the state that for 
years and years to come will yield as great return for 
our efforts as it did the labors of our ancestors. The 
generation that is now old has seen great transforma- 
tion. The generation that is now young will see 
greater transformation and these changes will come 
as the result of industry and thrift that insure vigor 
and strength to future generations. Such a people 
need not kindling of patriotism by foreign wars, and, 
to the dignity of such people, the strife for position 
and dignity in the turmoil of foreign politics can add 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 


nothing. I laud and praise the strenuous life, but, 
•in typifying it, I point to the life and the work of the 
pioneers whose efforts built up forces for human hap- 
piness and comfort and from whom has sprung as 
hardy a race as the world now knows. Compared 
with it, what has such strenuous life as the military 
possession of distant territory and the military inter- 
vention in Asiatic affairs to offer our people ? What 
has it offered or what has such a course given any 
people that has added to its happiness or finally con- 
tributed to its powers. 

I know ver}^ well that human strength is the prod- 
uct of exertion and that leisure and luxury mean 
deterioration and decay. Faculties increase and 
strengthen by use, not by disuse. Our ancestors 
found in their labors the necessity for the application 
of all of their strength physical and mental and in 
the effort they put forth they added to their virility 
and strength as the product of exertion ; and there are 
those who, conceding this fact, now urge that our 
country no longer affords a field for the employment 
of our energies and strength. They see in Asia and 
Europe an opportunity for the expanding of our in- 
fluence. That the ideas of these people have obtained 
in recent years is seen in our increased military and 
naval establishments. The vast appropriations 
which now call for our comment are but the begin- 
ning and they mark our entrance into a field that 
threatens bankruptcy to nations less resourceful than 
our own. Henceforth, in following our present pol- 
icy, we are to continue in a mad race for military 
prestige whose end, yet unseen, cannot add one mo- 
ment 's happiness to the life of one individual of any 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

The propriety of such a discussion as this at an old 
settlers' meeting may, to some, be shrouded in mys-- 
tery. Let me make myself clear and thus perhaps 
forestall and avoid this criticism. I contrast this lat- 
ter day tendency, this modern strenuous life, with 
that of the pioneers whom we honor today. I chal- 
lenge the wisdom of this changed course of our affairs 
and see in the lives of our ancestors greater wisdom 
and sounder statesmanship. I maintain that our own 
problems, our own concerns, our own country today 
as in the days gone by furnish us an ample field for 
the employment of our energies. 

Measured by the lives of nations this republic is yet 
very young. Our form of government is hardly be- 
yond the experimental stage. There are in it yet 
many problems to be worked out and their solution 
may well occupy our time and energy. The territory 
w^e possess is vast of extent and of incalculable rich- 
ness. Its resources are not yet estimated much less 
developed. Certainly there is enough here to tax our 
capacity without entering into entangling relations 
inseparably from European and Asiatic politics. 

It is true the relation we sustain toward foreign 
politics has been to some extent thrust upon us by the 
fortunes or misfortunes of war, but the acquisition 
of the Philippines has served rather as an excuse for 
entering further into foreign politics ; and a pretext 
for becoming more European and less American than 
it has for the exercise of American statesmanship in 
an effort to extricate ourselves honorably from a 
position to which we were forced without choice on 
our part. 

I see in these sentiments no ^'cowardly shrinking 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 11 

from responsibility or timid shirking of duty". Our 
own national salvation should be our first concern 
and we have not been commissioned to a further duty 
until that has been accomplished. The work of our 
fathers in our chosen country was well begun and it 
is becoming to faithful sons to finish it before seeking 
other tasks, and he who looks about him will see suf- 
ficient yet to do within the borders of our own coun- 
try without looking beyond. The very extent of our 
country at this time renders national legislation dif- 
ficult. Diversity of interests and diversity of insti- 
tutions, within half a century have caused fraternal 
strife which was well nigh a national calamity. With 
every convening of Congress we witness the difficulty 
of harmonizing conflicting interests and different 
opinions of different states. Why increase these dif- 
ficulties and why widen these divergencies ? 

Is it not the wiser to pursue the course adopted by 
the pioneers of this country, in developing territory 
that is contiguous and assimilating a population that 
it is possible to make homogeneous ? 

In private life there is no surer basis of character 
than the honest profession and practice of the homely 
virtues. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in 
the simple lives of the pioneers. No people ever de- 
veloped a stronger character nor has it ever been 
more indelibly impressed upon the descendants of a 
people or upon a country. 

We owe something more than the mere admiration 
of the work and character of the pioneers. It is true 
that we owe homage to their memories and willingly 
confess this debt, but we further owe to them and to 
ourselves the emulation of their example in contrib- 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

uting to tlie greatness of our people, and of our state. 
We owe to ourselves the imitation of tlieir homely 
virtues of integrity and thrift. The obligation goes 
farther than that. We owe to their memories and to 
ourselves the keeping of our government true to its 
original purpose, within its original and proper 
sphere ; to keep it the means and instrument for the 
governance of ourselves, free from the intrigues and 
cabals of foreign courts, with whose influences we 
have become too much acquainted in recent years. 

I know that ^'new occasions teach new duties" but 
they do not teach the desertion of approved prin- 
ciples, the desertion of partly finished tasks nor do 
they teach the relinquishment of a substantial 
achievement in government for the bubble of a large 
influence in foreign affairs. It is an achievement to 
have become a world power ; to be consulted in adjust- 
ing the relations of foreign countries. It is an 
achievement to have produced an army and navy 
whose strength, daily increasing, may render the 
word of our rei^resentatives the law by which foreign 
countries must act. It is an achievement to extend 
our possession to oriental countries and to be pre- 
pared to defend them against the hordes of China and 
the armies of Japan. But it were a greater 
achievement to have finished all the problems of self 
government at home; to have solved our own race 
problem instead of complicating it ; to have redeemed 
our own resources from exploitation instead of 
gaining further territor}^ for exploitation; to have 
raiscid the stand ai*d of citizenship instead of pursu- 
ing a course that lovv(U's the standards of citizensliip; 
to have simplified administration instead of compli- 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 13 

eating it and to have brought the government nearer 
the people who compose it instead of carrjdng it to 
people who have no part in it, and who have no love 
for it. 

In honoring the memory of the pioneers today I 
know of no words more appropriate than the expres- 
sion of the hope that their sons and daughters may, 
to the remotest generations, preserve themselves the 
type of men they were, and that in preserving the 
type of the pioneers we may preserve also the Amer- 
ican Government free from the present tendency to 
recreancy from the ideals of its founders, and our 

Col. Hepburn was with his early day friends in the 
afternoon, and he talked to them from the stand- 
point of a man alive to present day conditions and 
familiar with what was going on when Iowa was an 

He was a lad upon a farm in Newport township 
when Iowa became a state and his early days were in 
Iowa City when it was the state capitol. His step- 
father, George Hampton, was a prominent Democrat 
in territorial and early state times. He w^as one of 
the first reporters of the supreme court of Iowa and 
it was in his office in the old capitol building where 
Col. Hepburn, ten years old, saw much of the men who 
made Iowa a state of force and character. In his 
talk, he said that at the age of ten years, he be- 
lieved, he knew more of the prominent men of that 
time, and men who have been leaders since, than any 
other boy of his age. They came to Iowa City, said 
the colonel, in numbers, to talk over things and to ad- 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

vise with legislators and state officers, for in those 
days there were no daily papers in Iowa to give the 

President Schwiniley introduced Col. Hepburn as 
a man of world wide fame, who has served his state 
and the nation most conspicuously, and when the col- 
onel arose to speak, he said that if the president were 
a writer of fiction, his remarkable imagination would 
give the world most startling stories, or if he were a 
painter, the brightest colors would be used to paint 
his ideals. He said he was glad to meet with his bo}- 
hood friends, and to begin with he wanted them to go 
back sixty years and consider what Iowa and the 
country were then and compare it with what they now 

Iowa has been a leader in good legislation. Sixty- 
five years ago a woman could not hold property in her 
own right, she had no control legally over her chil- 
dren, but now she has equal property rights with her 
husband and equal rights with him in control of her 
children. Under the old laws, when a woman mar- 
ried, her property went to her husband and he could 
dispose of it or squander it as he pleased. Iowa was 
a leader in reforming such conditions. 

loAva is great because it began right. It had great 
men to frame its constitution and laws. When Bur- 
lington was a town of 1,000 people, it had among its 
citizens men of great ability, from whom came six 
United States senators, several governors, great 
judges, congressmen in numbers, and other smaller 
towns liad great men in proportion. They laid the 
foundations for Iowa's greatness, but the true basis 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 15 

of its greatness was found in its people, who stood for 
the best. James Harlan delivered in Iowa City an 
address on popular education, and citizens of Iowa 
City raised money, bought him a horse and buggy and 
paid his expenses that he might go to other places and 
deliver his lecture on education. 


Comparing the present with the past. Col. Hepburn 
said that in 1860 we had all sorts of money to the 
amount of seventeen millions of circulating medium, 
now we have 150 millions. 

Then the wealth was ten billions, now 130 billions. 

Then our foreign commerce was 200 millions, now 
it is 30,000 millions. 

Then we created annually 175 millions in new 
wealth, now 28 billions. 

This year we will create twice as much wealth as we 
had sixty years ago. Or we create this year twice as 
much wealth as had been created by eight generations 
in 240 years. 

It took eleven centuries to build up the civilization 
of France and nine centuries to create the civilization 
of England, while Iowa has had but seventy-five years 
of development. 


Col. Hepburn said that sometimes it is claimed a 
young man has not the opportunities at present that 
young men enjoyed fifty years ago, but he disputed 
this and claimed opportunities have multiplied, as 
conditions have changed. Especially is this true of 
women. Fifty years ago she could be a seamstress, 
or a helper in the kitchen, while once in a while one 


Forty-Fourtli Annual Meeting of the 

could find employment clS 9/ teaclier, but now prac- 
tically every profession and calling is open to women. 
Sometimes a tight-fisted school director will try to 
make a woman work cheaper in the schools than men, 
but the people are coming to believe that women who 
do as good work and as much of it as men should have 
equal pay. 


Referring to patriotism, he said it is not to be 
found merely where men are brave in risking their 
lives, or who perform some great service in times of 
national danger, but the man who performs his civic 
duties is a patriot. We hear of graft in cities, most 
of which is due to lack of attention to public affairs 
by good people, especially business men. The man 
who is too negligent to attend primaries and elections 
should be denied the right to vote. 


Col. Hepburn won applause when he referred to 
the magazine critics of public men and those he 
termed ' ' Chautauqua Mountebanks ' He said a pub- 
lic man who has never put an idea into law or per- 
formed any national service in the line of legislation, 
declares a number of men must be driven from Con- 
gress, yet these are the men who have given us the 
improved laws, who have stood for improved condi- 
tions and have given us much of the measures of 
which the country boasts. 

If our Christian civilization is giving us the sort of 
men and laws which are described by our magazine 
writers and Chautauqua Mountebanks, then our civil- 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 17 

ization is a failure and our system of government is 
a failure. But we have progressed every year since 
the beginning of time, and we are progressing and 
getting better every day. The people of this century 
are better than those of the last, the things of this 
year are better than those of last year, and the things 
of tomorrow will be better than the things of today. 

In closing Col. Hepburn paid tribute to Iowa City 
and its people, both pioneers and younger people. He 
referred to the many able men of the early days in 
Iowa City, and congratulated them upon their will- 
ingness in 1857 to exchange the state capital for the 
state university. 

After the exercises were over, many greeted Col. 
and Mrs. Hepburn most cordially. He met many 
such as J. Y. Stover, J. T. Struble and others who 
were his playmates in boyhood times. 


Davenport, Iowa, Aug. 22nd, 1910. 
Matthew Cavanagh, Milton Eemley, Committee 
of ^^Old Settlers' Association''. 
My Dear Old Friends: — I am reminded by your 
honorable committee that another year has rolled 
round and an invitation to be present at your annual 
meeting to be held next Thursday. Nothing would 
give me more pleasure but as it is not possible will 
send greetings and best wishes for a good time. Iowa 
City is a very dear spot to me as it was the place of 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

my birth and where I lived for so many years. My 
mind often goes back to the days of my childhood and 
I feel that I would like to spend my last days where 
they began, among my ^^old Johnson Co. friends". 

Thanking you for your kindly remembrance I wish 
3^ou a pleasant day and a happy coming together of 
the old settlers of Johnson Co. 

Very sincerely, 

Mrs. Agnes McElwain Burge. 

1036 W. 6th St. 

Sutherland, Iowa, Aug. 22, 1910. 
Messrs. Cavanagh and Remley, Committee '^Old 
Settlers' Association'', Iowa City, Iowa. 

Dear Friends : — I thank you for remembering me 
as the meeting of the pioneers of Johnson County ap- 
proaches. I regret that I must still postpone my 
visit to Iowa City which I still hope to make. Work 
that has been delayed on my house will keep me at 
home for the next few weeks. 

The old friends of the Woods family will be inter- 
ested in knowing something of those who still remain 
in this life. Lorinda Woods Cones is still living in 
Council Blulfs. A son lives with her. Mr. Cones 
passed away last winter. Martha Woods Sylvester 
lives in Washington City — her youngest daughter 
Sunshine lives with her. Virginia Woods Morgan 
lives near New York City, three of her children near 
her — and the story of the children of Dr. W. W. 
Woods that are still living is told. Among the next 
geri(;i-ation there are many who are gifted in art, 
music, literature and business. 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 19 

I wish I might meet the few Iowa City people 
whom I used to know a half century ago. 
With best wishes to you all I am 

Very sincerely yours, 

Roma W. Woods. 

Mrs. Huse Woods. 

Aledo, Illinois, August 22nd, 1910. 
Messrs. Cavanagh and Remley, Iowa City, Iowa. 

Dear Sirs : — Your notification of the annual meet- 
ing of the old settlers of Johnson Co., Iowa, is at 
hand and regret my inability to meet with you in your 
annual gathering, but the extreme warm weather has 
reduced my strength and vitality so that it is impos- 
sible for me to avail myself of the pleasure of enjoy- 
ing the day with you, but my prayers and best wishes 
for the health and happiness of each one of the aged 
pioneers will greet you and you will all be much in 
my thoughts on your meeting day, and may you have 
many more of these happy reunions. 

I have been reading the early history of Iowa City 
as given by Mr. Irish and it has brought to my mind 
so many associations connected with my father's life, 
that I am intending at no distant day to write a short 
sketch of my father's life in honor of his assistance 
as a citizen in connection and relationship with oth- 
ers in making the foundation of this beautiful city 
what it now is. I would like if time permitted to 
speak of some of the great questions of the day, espe- 
cially the temperance question, or rather the victories 
won for prohibition, and I have watched with a jeal- 
ous eye the stand the state of Iowa has taken on this 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

And its twin, in importance, Woman's Fran- 
chise". Do I startle some of you upon tlie stand I 
have taken? I trust not. The time lias come when 
woman, in the truest sense, must realize she has a 
personal responsibility in the gwernment of our 
states and nation. It is woman who brings into be- 
ing the heroes of the nation, rears them into citizens 
for the upbuilding and sustenance of the nation, and 
four times to one the widow with half a dozen chil- 
dren will be more successful in rearing her famity 
than either of the four widowers in the care of his 
family. Woman does not have to sit supinely down 
and wait for a husband to represent her in the ex- 
pression of her desires as to the disposition she shall 
make of her propert}^, or even who shall levy the tax 
upon that property. It is nonsense to say women 
do not want the ballot, or would not vote if they 
had". It might possibly be that a few women would 
not care to exercise the right of franchise if they 
had the right, some men do not. It might also be 
possible some of the women would not know how to 
vote, some men do not. It is possible some few wom- 
en might be induced to sell their votes, some men do 
the same thing. And it is barely supposable that a 
few Avomen would be so ignorant they would not 
know liow to vote or what they were voting for, it is 
even so among the men, and the number of ignorant 
men ar(i going to more than quadruple the ignorant 
women, if you tal^e tlu^ statistics regarding the num- 
})er of girls and young women graduates from our 
liigh schools and colleges, in excess of the boys and 
young men. 

Men need not cry out tluit women and girls are 

Old Settlers^ Association of Johnson County 


usurping tlieir ground, it is not true; however, this 
one thing is true, positions at the foot of the ladder 
of fame are crowded, but the young man or woman 
who has tlie force of character and everyday com- 
mon sense determination to succeed will find plenty 
of room on reaching the top of the ladder, and to the 
young people who may be present at this present 
reunion, I wish them abundant success in their efforts 
for this higher and most successful life. Two ques- 
tions when settled by the nation will in a great meas- 
ure assure more young people of the privileges so 
much to be desired. These are Prohibition and Equal 

I thank the committee for this privilege of greeting 
my comrades of Johnson Co. I am 
Very sincerely yours, 
Mrs. Virginia E. Hanby Wright. 

Washington, D. C, July 18, 1910. 

Major Eichard Sylvester presents his compliments 
and best wishes to Matthew Cavanagh and Milton 
Eemley, Committee of The Old Settlers of Johnson 
County, Iowa, and respectfully begs leave to thank 
them for the kind invitation extended his mother and 
himself to be present on the occasion of the Annual 
Reunion, August 25, 1910. 

The long distance to be traveled and the season of 
the year, considered with the advanced years of his 
mother, make what would be a visit of pleasure and 
profit one that must be foregone. 

His mother and himself are reminded by such in- 
vitations as this, of the lasting friendship that is in- 


Forty-Foiirtli Annual Meeting of the 

culcated, not alone tliroiigli association, but by reason 
of nativity, and they trust that an opportunity may 
be offered at some later date, in a cooler season, when 
they may renew their acquaintance with those who 
have been so kind as to remember them in this in- 

Grinnell, Iowa, August 11, 1910. 
M. Cavaj^agh, Esq., Hon. M. Eemley, Committee of 
Old Settlers of Johnson Co. 
My Dear Sirs : — Replying to your invitation of the 
14th ult. to attend your annual meeting on the 25th 
inst., it was duly received. I regret that I shall be 
unable to be with you then, but want to say you are 
doing an eminently wise thing in holding that meet- 
ing. When I came to the state Iowa City w^as its 
capital, and its history was identified with that of the 
entire commonwealth. Some of our best men have 
come from your count}", and their names have been 
identified with much that is noblest in Iowa history, 
even your Poweshiek gave one county its name. A 
pleasant time to you. 

Yours cordially, 

L. F, Parker. 

San Jose, Cal., August 18, 1910. 
Messrs. Cavanagh, Eeimley, and all old settlers of 
Johnson Co. 

T wisli it could })e so, to meet with you once Inore. 
11 is now 19 years that I met with you last, and 
\\()\\\(\ he very glad to do so again on the 25th of this 
month, hut 1 couhl not stand the trip this time of the 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 23 

year. The weather is too warm, and I am too old, 
almost 80 years. If the meeting was one month later 
I might do so. Now, my dear old settlers, I wish all 
of you could come and see the most beautiful valley 
in this world, and partake of our fruit and enjoy our 
climate for a month and you would like to live here 
for ever. I wish to say good by to all. 

Sincerely yours, 

Andrew Beermakee. 
I came in the county April 15, 1855. 

Grinnell, Iowa, Aug. 16, 1910. 
Dear People of Johnson :— 

Here's greeting from the friends in Poweshiek to 
those in your loved city, and wishing you health and 
prosperity, and all the blessings this grand world can 
afford. Old Father Time looks after the years, and 
numbers them with painstaking care and with no mis- 
takes. 1856 marks my first visit to western lands: 
and with the exception of past 17 years all my time 
was spent in dear old J ohnson. Briefly we may say, 
that this old world has no nobler men and women, or 
whose friendship I more highly appreciate. 


A. O. Price. 

Castle Rock, Colo., Aug. 21, 1910. 
Messrs. Eemley and Cavanagh. 

Dear Sirs: — Your card, asking the attendance of 
myself and family at the reunion of the old settlers of 
Johnson County, on Aug. 25, 1910, is at hand. I can- 
not express the pleasure it would afford us to be with 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

you on that occasion, but our health will not permit 
us to take such a journey, and we can only hope that 
the old settlers will have a most happy reunion. With 
kindest regards to all, and wishing again that the 
happy event will be enjoyed by all, I remain, 
Yours most sincerely, 

P. W. O'Briejst and Family. 

Santa Ana, California, J uly 28th, 1910. 
Old Settlers' Committee. 

Gentlemen : — I thank you for your kind invitation 
to attend your annual gathering. It would be a great 
pleasure for my wife and I to look into the faces and 
grasp the hands of those we have known so well in 
other days. 

Iowa City was my home for forty years, and I could 
not, and would not, blot out the memories of those 

While we are thankful for the privilege of spend- 
ing the afternoon of life in this balmy air, where the 
fruits, flowers and song birds are never absent ; yet 
we do not forget that these things were made possible 
by the few previous years on Mount Prospect farm. 

We wish you each and all, prosperity and happi- 
ness — temporal and eternal. 

Very sincerely, 

Carey R. Smith and Wife. 

Dubuque, Iowa, Aug. 22, 1910. 
]VIi:ssiis. Cavanagh and Milton Remley, Committee. 

(jrentlem(*n : — I desire to thank you most sincerely 
for your kind invitation to participate in the annual 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 


meeting of The Old Settlers of Johnson County, and 
to express^ my regret that circumstances preclude my 

These annual reunions are a delightful evidence 
that the fraternal spirit engendered by the common 
deprivations and dangers of pioneer days still warms 
the hearts of the remnant of those hardy men who so 
well and so firmly laid the foundations of our greatest 
and most glorious commonwealth — Iowa. 

May God in his good providence grant to them and 
to their children length of days, peace, and pros- 
perity. Very sincerely yours, 

Thos. M. Irish. 

Austin, Chicago, 111., August 21, 1910. 
Matthew Cavanagh, Miltox Remley, Committee, 
Iowa City, Iowa. 
Dear Sirs: — I regret that I can not attend the 
Johnson County Old Settlers' reunion this year. 
Hoping that you all may have a good time and that I 
may be able to be with you next year and meet some 
of my old Iowa City friends, and thanking you for 
your kind invitation, I am 

Very respectfully yours, 
567 N. Pine Ave. 'w. B. McCall. 

Cupertino, Cal., Aug. 8, 1910. 
Messrs. Cavanagh and Remley. 

Your invitation to attend the Annual Meeting of 
the Old Settlers of Johnson County is received with 
thanks. Age and distance make it necessary for me 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

to send regrets. I fear that I should be saddened if 
present by absence of good friends whose faces will 
be seen no more at your meetings. My kind regards 
to those who may remember me. 


Princeton, Illinois, Angust 4th, 1910. 
Messes. Matthew Cavanagh and Milto^s^ Remley, 
Committee, Iowa City, Iowa. 

Gentlemen : — I am in receipt of your kind invita- 
tion of the 14th of July, 1910, extended to me, and to 
my family, to attend the annual meeting of the Old 
Settlers of Johnson County, Iowa, on the 25th day 
of August, 1910. And I would have acknowledged 
the receipt, and thanked you for the invitation before 
this, but for absence from home. 

And noAv I beg to assure you that it would be a 
great pleasure to me to be present at your annual 
meeting, and meet with the old settlers of Johnson 
County, if I could well do so. But I cannot, on ac- 
count of other engagements. 

In the month of November, 1845, my father moved 
with his family, from Illinois, to the then Territory 
of Iowa, and settled in Johnson County. He first 
resided in Iowa City, for a time, which was then the 
capitol of the Territory of Iowa, and after the ad- 
mission of the territory into the Union as a state, 
remained the capitol of the state for some years. I 
mmt witli the family to Iowa City, and entered the 
Town University as a student, and remained as such 
fluring the winter of 1845 and 1846. The school was 
then taught in the Mechanics' Academy, and I have 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 27 

a very pleasant memory of my residence, and of my 
studies, in the University, during that winter, and 
remember many of the old settlers, who were then 
residents of Iowa City and of J ohnson County. But 
in March, 1846, after the close of the first term of the 
school, I returned to Illinois, and as the University 
was not in a very prosperous condition, as I thought, 
I did not go back to continue my studies. I, however, 
frequently visited my father and mother after my 
return to Illinois, and kept up some familiarity with 
the old settlers of Iowa City and of Johnson County, 
and I still remember, with much interest and pleas- 
ure, many of their names. But, I believe, I have not 
been in Iowa City, or in Johnson County, for some 
thirty years or more. The last time I distinctly re- 
member to have been in Iowa City was when Hon. 
Rush Clark, who then represented the Fifth Con- 
gressional District of Iowa, and lived in Iowa City, 
died, and I was appointed one of the Congressional 
Committee to accompany his remains to Iowa City, 
where he was buried, and did so, and was present at 
his funeral. 

I found many changes in Iowa City at that time. 
But the old Mechanics' Academy, in which the Iowa 
City University held its session in the winter of 1845 
and 1846, was still standing. And having been a 
student then I, of course, visited it, but found, as I 
remember, that it had been converted into a hospital, 
or was at the time used for that purpose. I presmne 
greater changes in both Iowa City and Johnson 
County have taken place since I was there last, and I 
am glad to be informed that both the city and coimty 
have greatly increased in population and wealth since 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

my last visit, and tliat the Iowa State University has 
become one of the great and prosperous universities 
of the country. But after the lapse of so many years, 
I presume, if I was able to attend your annual meet- 
ing, on the 25th of August, I would find but very few 
survivors, if any, of those whom I knew in the early 
settlement of Iowa City and of J ohnson County, and 
yet, I would dearly love to attend 37-our meeting, and 
mingle, for a time, with those who may be present. 

You say you would be glad to hear of my health 
and happiness, and I am glad to say that my health 
is reasonably good for one of my age, being now in 
my eighty-sixth year, and that I am enjoying a reas- 
onable degree of happiness in the society of my fami- 
ly and friends. 

And now wishing the annual meeting of the Old 
Settlers of Johnson County, on the 25th of August, 
may be a very successful and pleasant one for all who 
may be present, I am 

Very sincerely yours, 


630 East Peru Street. 


Adams, John L. Borland, George 

Adams, Mrs. John L. Ball, Geo. W. 

Adams, Richard Bo wen, William 

Adams, Robert Bowman, E. F. 

Adams, Emery Bradley, Geo. 

A. lams, Mrs. Emery Byington, O. A. 

Adams, Miss Lilly Byington, Mrs. Legrand 

Adams, Mrs. J. E. Burge, Dr. A. J. 

Alder, Ira J. Bicket, Mrs. John 

Borts, David Butler, Mrs. E1i5'.a])otli 

Bnrhanan, W. H. Brown, Geo. W. 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 

Brown, Mrs. Geo. W. 
Biimgardener, Albert 
Cavanagh, Matthew 
Clifford, C. E. 
Clark, Mrs. Susan 
Cox, Thomas 
Crow, John L. 
Cray, Z. F. 
Corlett, J. K. 
Curtis, Mrs. Bell Stewart 
Cannon, Wilbur 
Cannon, Mrs. Wilbur 
Banner, F. M. 
Dunkle, William 
Evans, Will 
Evans, Mrs. Wm. 
Evans, Mrs. Minnie 
Eggenburg, Frederic 
Ehred, Mrs. Mary 
Fry, Sam 
Fry, Mrs. S. 
Furbish, Isaac 
Furbish, Mrs. Isaac , 
Fowle, Mrs. Joshua 
Gesberg, Mrs. E. 
Greer, Ed. 
Gaymon, Harry 
Gates, Mrs. Daniel 
Gates, Daniel 
Greulich, John 
Hall, G. E. 
H-ertz, A. J. 
Howell, E. P. 
Hevern, Eamsey 
Hughes, T. B. 
Hill, Sion 
Hughes, Elias 
Hohensehuh, Mrs. Teresa 
Hohenschuh, Will 
Harney, Thomas 
Harney, Mrs. Thomas 
Huffman, A. 
Hunter, Geo. 
Heinsius, Charles 
Irish, Mrs. C. 
Irish, G. E. 
Irish, Mrs. G. E. 

Irish, Miss Jane T. 
Irish, Miss Elizabeth 
Jones, D. W. 
Jaynes, John 
Jaynes, Mrs. John 
Jaynes, Miss Elizabeth 
Keene, Mrs. Mary L. 
Koontz, Geo. W. 
Koontz, Mrs. G. W. 
Magruder, George 
Moreland, Alexander 
Moreland, Mrs. Alexander 
Moon, M. J. 
McChesney, E. A. 
Moore, C. G. 
Moore, Bruce 
Moore, Inez 
Metzgar, J. J. 
Metzgar, Mrs. J. J. 
McCollister, James 
Morford, John W. 
Morford, Mrs. John W. 
Morford, Miss Ula 
Meyers, Isaac 
McKray, John W. 
Patterson, Erwin 
Patterson, Mrs. Erwin 
Plum, J. L. 
Pratt, Wm. 
Pratt, Mrs. Wm. 
Parvin, N. E. 
Patterson, Elias 
Phelan, Miss Tressa 
Eitter, Mrs. Benjamin 
Eandall, Mrs. Mary 
Eich, J. W. 
Eemley, Milton 
Eicker, Jacob 
Eowland, I. K. 
Eowland, H. L. 
Eobinson, Charles 
Eossler, A. A. 
Eittenmeyer, F. H. 
Eicord, Mrs. Emily 
Eichardson, Mrs. Amos 
Schwimley, Eev. Adam 
Sunier, Mrs. Steve 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

Sunier. Camilla 
Sunier, Miss Mary 
Smith, Mrs. Calista S. 
Sanders, Horace 
Sanders, Euclid 
Sanders, Mrs. Euclid 
Sanders, Miss Mary 
Stevenson, Jolin 
Stevenson, S. K. 
Stevens, Mrs. Mack 
Stevens, Miss Annie 
Sweet, Caleb 
Sweet, Wm. 
Snider, Fredrick 
Scales, W. 
Sheets, John G. 
Slezak, Joseph 
Stover, Mrs. J. 
Secrest, Joshua H. 
Struble, John T. 
St ruble, Mrs. John T. 
Schnare, Mrs. Henry 
Shaver, Mrs. Phil 
Startzer, Ferdinand 
Stratton, Frank 
Stratton, Mrs. Frank 

Stratton, Frankie 
Showers, Mrs. Minnie 
Stouffer, J. C. 
Smith, Ebenezer 
Thomas, E. L. 
Teneyck, Miss Mary H. 
Trump, Mrs. Julia 
Taylor, Mrs. M. H. 
Vonstine, Miss Mary 
Vonstine, Miss Annie 
Vonstine, Miss Sarah 
Wieneke, Henry 
"Wilson, Mrs. Edna 
Wilson, Ed 
Walker, Henry 
Walker, Mrs. Henry 
Wolf, M. K. 
Wolf, Mrs. M. K. 
Westenhaver, Frank 
W^alker, Joseph 
Wright, Mrs. Mary 
White, James 
White, Mrs. James 
Yarbrough, Samuel 
Yarbrough, Mrs. Samuel 


From Johnson ( Vjnnty's rapidly diminisliing list 
of pioneers, 120 names were stricken ofl by the hand 
of Death during the past 3^ear. 

Tlie sad truth Avas forced home upon the minds of 
tlie auditors, who listened to the necrological report 
of Justice and Mrs. G. R. Irish, at the annual picnic 
and I'cunion of the Johnson County Old Settlers' As- 
soc i a t i oi i at the f ai r grounds. 

Many |)i'oniinent peo])le were among those called 
beyond, during that period. The last charter mem- 
ber, Jesse K. Strawbridge, was one of the 120. 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 31 

The report of Mr. and Mrs. Irish reads as follows : 
In compliance with our instructions we present a 

list of old settlers of the county who have died since 

the date of our last report. 

While the list contains the names of many who 

were not members of the association, it comprises the 

names of an unusually large number of the older 


Charles Baker and A. E. Swisher have acted as 
presidents of the association. Mr. Swisher was for 
many years its secretary, and both were untiring in 
the advancement of its interests. 

Jesse K. Strawbridge was the last of the charter 
members. During the 44 years of his membership, 
nearly 1,000 persons signed our constitution, and 
nearly that number have died. 

Samuel Cozine and George Pinney, in passing 
away, leave places that few can fill. Among the dead 
of the year will be found the names of Mrs. Hezekiah 
Hamilton, Mrs. Ellen B. Murray, Miss Annie E. 
Hope, and Mrs. Henry Morton, who were active in all 
the affairs of the society, and by their presence great- 
ly increased the pleasure of the annual gatherings. 

The year has marked the departure of very many 
of the older members, who have made the association 
one of the honored institutions of their time, and 
worthy of maintenance by those who shall take their 


Herewith is presented a list of those who sleep the 
sleep everlasting, in our ^^City of the Dead'' or in 
other sacred spots, far or near. The record is by 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

months, and includes tlie age of each decedent when 


AUGUST, 1909 

Stephen Scliultz 60 

Lila Swain Whitmore 44 

A. E. Swisher 63 

J. L. Douglas 70 

Wm. E. Moon 82 

Eoyal Simpson Koser 30 

Mrs. James Eobinson 72 
Ellis Hughes 


Frank D. Lindsley 64 

R. Connelly 80 
Adella Holmes 

Mrs. John Pelzer 77 

Katherine Wagner 89 

Mrs. F. J. Horack 55 

Marie C. Hensel 75 

Katherine Beam 82 

James C. Daniels 57 

Christian J. Miller 65 

OCTOBER, 1909 

Matthew Bailey 68 

Kathrine A. Hohenschuh 47 

Iowa Wray Young 63 

Mrs. John Stevenson 84 

Mrs. A. Stable 

Mrs. "Wesley Hala 

James Malloy 78 

Frank Fiesler 43 

Joseph Hotka 84 

Mrs. S. J. Beach 

Mrs. Rachel Pratt 

Mrs. Nathaniel Bowers 75 

Christian Jacob 60 

Abraham T. Cavanagli 74 

James Paintin 


Mrs. George Hunter 66 

Mrs. Martha Collins 78 


John Pechman 86 

Mrs. Hezekiah Hamilton 64 

Mrs. Catherine Menne 84 

Thomas W. Rankin 80 
Mrs. Larkin 


Ed. Mansfield 53 

Belle Hart Spencer 

Mrs. Mary Dalton 89 

Franklin S. Lantz 73 

Mrs. J. J. Davenport 

Jacob Rieland 61 

Charles Albert Cartwright 59 

Mrs. John Peters 80 

Matilda J. Wieneke 72 

O. P. Lininger 

Mrs. L. E. Chamberlain 63 
JANUARY, 1910 

Asher W. Ely 37 

Mrs. Phoebe Hastings 65 

Annie E, Hope 58 

Frank Ereth 72 

S. H. Hemsted 73 

Henry Sporleder 78 

Samuel Cozine 83 

Amanda B. Fry 64 

Martha Lee 86 

James Smale 68 


Fred Evert 75 

John Meliker 72 

John E. Adams 76 
Mrs. Mike Glassinger 

Mrs. Eliza B. Cox 93 

Timothy Sheehan 80 

Mathias Bartovsky 65 

MARCH, 1910 

George Nass 80 

Charles Iluebner 62 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 






John Ellyson 


JUNE, 1910 

Henry Sullivan 


William Windrem 


liarvey vv. ±!yiie 


Thomas Glasgow 

Ed. Dehner 


John Dohrer 


Julia O'Hanlon 


Anton Chermak 


J. G. Fink 


AVilliam Boys 


Jesse K. Strawbridge 


Dr. David Stewart 


Eugene Hart 


Ellen B. Murray 


Mrs. Mary Neider 


Dr. Charles A. AVhite 


Marcus Marshall 


A T>T?TT 1 Q1 r> 

Joseph O'Mara 


George Pinney 


JULY, 1910 

Johanna Flannagan 


Charles Baker 


Katherine Trumpp 


Amos Richardson 


Mrs. W. L. Humphrey 


Mrs. Henry Morton 


Frank Anton, Sr. 


Charles Kimball 


Edwin Grain 


Rachel Hurd 


Isaac Graham 


Frank Colony 


Harry E. Burger 


Mrs. M. M. Johhsnon 


Mrs. Frederika Akers 


L. C. Piatt 

AUGUST, 1910 
Barbara Bock 


MAY, 1910 

Richard Williams 


Charles Conover 

Mrs. Rachel Ross 


Mrs. Ellsworth Henyon 

Jane Bright 


Mrs. Charles Schump, Sr. 


James Burns 


Robert Lorenz 


Mrs. ISTancy Babbitt 


Mrs. William Weidle 


Hezekiah Hamilton 


Gr. R. Irish, Mrs. G. R. Irish, Committee. 


Austin Cole was born at Dayton, Ohio, Sept. 2, 
1818. In tlie summer of 1836 lie came to Iowa, and 
during tlie winter of 1836-7 was employed in hauling 
cornmeal from Jack's Mills in Illinois to the mouth 
of Pine Creek in Iowa, for the use of the Indians 
who were then located in several villages from Daven- 
port as far west as Moscow on the Cedar river and on 
the Iowa river. Black Hawk's camp was then at 


34 Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

Moscow. His team was four yoke of oxen and the 
load was one hundred bushels of meal. It required 
eight days for the round trip and corn was then one 
dollar a bushel. In 1837 Mr. Cole acted as clerk of 
the election to decide which should be the county seat 
of Muscatine Count}^ The contest was between the 
Mouth of Pine and Bloomington. Bloomington won ; 
acting with Mr. Gole as clerk was S. C. Hastings, who 
arrived in Iowa on that morning, having made a 
claim to land twelve miles south of Bloomington and 
invested in building lots in that town, and at the 
Mouth of Pine. In the summer of 1838 he took the 
contract for the erection of a store for Adam Ogilvie, 
who was keeping store in a tent. The Ogilvie store- 
room was the first frame building in Bloomington. 
In the fall of 1838 Mr. Cole returned to Ohio and on 
October 3, 1838, married Miss Lucinda L. Ludlow; 
meeting with Stephen Whicher and Ralph Lowe, in 
Dayton, Mr. Cole sold to them his interests in Bloom- 
ington and Mouth of Pine, and with his wife removed 
to Iowa City in the spring of 1839. He built his cabin 
on the site of the Elks' building and for several years 
the little cabin with its log fireplace and stick chimney 
was one of the architectural sights of the new city. 
After helping in the laying out of the city, he built a 
lime kiln and STipplied the city with the lime for its 
first buildings. Having bought land in Scott town- 
ship, lie farmed there for several years, teaching 
school in the winter time. The lead mines of Illinois 
liaviug attracted the attention of the people, he re- 
moved with his family to Potosi and for a time was 
engaged in mining lead there and at Galena. Owing 
to flic dnlhiess of business in the mines caused by the 




Old Settlers^ Association of Johnson County 35 

close of the Mexican war, he returned to Bloomington 
and engaged in the lime and lumber business and then 
again came to Iowa City, where he remained until 
1854, when with Stephen B. Gardner, he removed to 
northwestern Iowa and located in Sioux City where 
he opened a hotel and was elected as the first Justice 
of the Peace in Woodbury County. He performed 
the first marriage ceremony in that county. 

When the land came into market, he entered a large 
tract of land, a portion of which is now known as 
Cole's Addition to Sioux City. Later he removed to 
Dakota and opened a farm there ; he was three times 
elected to represent the first district (Brule County) 
in the Senate of that territory and was active in the 
location of the seat of government at Yankton. 
While living in Dakota his home was overrun by 
Inkapaduta on his avenging raid that terminated in 
the Spirit Lake Massacre; his buildings, fences and 
livestock were all destroyed by the Indians. For 
some time Mr. Cole was employed in conducting the 
supply trains of Gen. Sully to various points in the 
far north and west. Returning to Sioux City, he en- 
gaged in business there for a time, and in 1860 he 
determined to try his luck in the newly discovered 
gold mines of Pikes Peak. Upon reaching Denver 
late in the season, he learned of the failure of the 
mines and the hasty departure of the thousands of 
starving prospectors from the scene of their disap- 
pointment. It being too late in the season for him to 
return to his home, he determined to make his way to 
Ft. Laramie, and winter there. In making his way 
to that point he followed the trail made by Parkman 
when returning from his mountain tour and he found 


Forty-Fourtli Annual Meeting of the 

Bisonett at Ms ranch on the Platte, living just as de- 
scribed by Parkman. Aided by the instructions of 
Bisonett and an Indian chief of one of the tribes of 
Plain Indians, Mr. Cole made his way to Laramie and 
there found Gen. Wool in command. The men were 
old friends and Gen. Wool advised that Mr. Cole take 
sufficient supplies for himself and team and push for- 
ward in order to meet the expedition of Capt. Simp- 
son to Salt Lake ; meeting him, Mr. Cole was given a 
place in the expedition and continued with it to Salt 
Lake, spending the winter in camp. Thence, he re- 
turned to the States with the expedition the following- 
spring and it was a source of great pleasure to him 
that he had taken a part in marking the line that was 
to be followed by the first railroad that was to cross 
the continent and make of the great American desert 
the garden of the United States. 

In 1861 Capt. Lyon, who had long been a member 
of Mr. Cole's household, left Sioux City to enter ac- 
tive service in the War of the Rebellion. Mr. Cole 
enlisted, but owing to his age and physical disabilities, 
he was rejected as a soldier. Growing weary of the 
disturbances of business and social conditions caused 
])y tliat awful conflict, Mr. Cole once more concluded 
to try his luck upon the fast advancing frontier of 
the country, and fitting up his team, with his faithful 
wife he removed to Barljour County, Kansas, where 
he built his cabin and soon had about his new home 
(if'Ids of grain and lierds of cattle ; for awhile the set- 
t lenient i)i-os])ere(l, but without warning a horde of 
Comanche Indians swei)t down upon the new settle- 
ment and in a, few hours the cabins Avere but ash 
Iicnps, the fields of gi'ain blackened stubble and the 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 37 

herds of cattle shot down or driven off to the home of 
the savages, and the mutilated bodies of many of the 
settlers told of the fury of the savage storm. After 
burying the dead the surviving members of the little 
colony dispersed and Mr. Cole with what little was 
left him, made his way to Iowa City, where the re- 
mainder of his life was passed. 

It was the custom of his neighbors to give him and 
his wife a little party upon the recurrence of the date 
of their births. In 1901 at the close of one of those 
entertainments Mr. Cole in taking leave of his friends 

^'Friends and neighbors, accept my thanks for the 
happiness you have given me this evening. During 
my life of ups and downs I have never wilfully 
wronged anyone and as I draw near the close of my 
long career I cherish no resentments and prize the 
esteem of my neighbors as the brightest of gems. I do 
not fear the call that soon or late must reach us all, 
and hope life's path for all of you may be laid in 
pleasant places and the time of your departure long 
deferred. ' ' 

This little speech was a very good index to the char- 
acter of the man. 

Mrs. Cole died in November, 1895, and from that 
time Mr. Cole lived alone. His family of seven chil- 
dren all died at an early age. A great reader, pos- 
sessed of a fine memory and a rare command of lan- 
guage; a fine singer, few men could entertain a 
company more pleasantly than he. Careless in his 
business habits, and free hearted to a fault, his old age 
found him in extreme poverty, but cheerful and with 
all his faculties undimmed by his age, the old pioneer 


Forty-Foiirtli Annual Meeting of the 

died in April, 1907, aged 89 years. As no stone will 
mark his grave, it is fit that his memory should be pre- 
served with that of his comrades who were the found- 
ers of this communit}^ 

3fn Memnrtam 


To say that a man was born, that he lived, and then 
died at three score and ten, plus possibly a few ad- 
ditional years is to tell in a few words all that the 
world feels, so far as appearances indicate any feel- 
ing, after the graves of the departed are filled. 

Yet it is not true that this is all when the summary 
of the lives of useful men is made, since each has con- 
tributed his mite to the sum of existence and this mite 
we cannot measure. Commonly it is thought that it 
is only another life snu:ffed out, and the hustling, 
bustling, forgetful world moves on indifferent to the 
l)roken family while the real truth, when brought 
home to the thoughtful man, is that somewhere he has 
put aside the memory of the same sorrow in his own 

1'lie last words, ''earth to earth and dust to dust" 
suggest an end to a contest with the forces that op- 
pose, and in the presence of the peace that should fol- 
low a good life, even subdued lamentations may sound 
rough and harsh. The patient sufferer through many 
AvcHiks knew that tli(^ end was approaching and his 
)>laTis were accordingly made for that change which 
life must undergo. Tlien when the final summons 
ranic he fell asleej), ahnost without anyone knowing 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 39 

just when the spirit departed and this sleep was ac- 
ceptable since suffering was at an end. 

Under the spreading trees that he had helped to 
plant, surrounded by the flowers that he had culti- 
vated and which had been the favors of the children 
w^ho came that way ; a background formed from the 
old home at '^Rose Hill" built in his father's day, 
suggestive of the pioneer, here the last words were 
said while the tribute of neighbors, and early settlers 
who had been his associates through a long life, was 
paid to Gilbert R. Irish. 

It was last September that an incurable disease 
fastened itself upon him, and although there were 
times of respite, and even hope of partial recovery, 
the approach of the end was evident. Just a few 
days before his death he arose from his bed, dressed 
in his usual manner and performed some accustomed 
work about the house, as if by a last mighty effort he 
would destroy the power of disease. This appeared 
to be the final battle ; the fight was over, and the ene- 
my, so-called, the grim reaper whose harvests are 
continuous and always sure, won the battle. 

Mr. Irish was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and 
while a small child made the journey with his mother 
to New York while his father came to Iowa to found 
a new home. Then the journey across the wide valley 
to Iowa in about the year 1840 was undertaken by the 
mother, from which date the family became citizens 
of Johnson County. For the first ten years of his life 
he was taught by his mother instead of attending any 
school, then he came under the instruction of Dr. 
Reynolds, an early and popular teacher of Iowa City. 
The greater part of his instruction, however, came 


Forty -Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

tlirougii liis own efforts and the experiences of those 
days when schools were not so free as now. In this 
self training he succeeded, since he became skilled in 
those things which make for permanency in the lives 
of those who knew him best. 

He says of himself that he was always a farmer" 
yet at one time he was engaged in a kindred occupa- 
tion in the growing of horticultural products near 
Peoria, Illinois. Having had some instruction in this 
work he never wholly gave it up, as the surroundings 
of his home would suggest. It was his fortune to 
make frequent trips from Peoria to Saint Louis by 
boat in the distributing of the stock grown, and it is 
said that man}^ of the fruit trees introduced in this 
vicinity were due to his suggestion. During a part 
of the time that he was engaged in Illinois, from the 
later fifties to 1863, he taught school and on his return 
to Iowa in the latter year his interest in matters con- 
cerning the schools led to his election as a member of 
the school board of Lucas township from district 
number eleven as it was formed in 1867, and in 1877 
he was chosen as secretary, serving in the latter posi- 
tion many years. 

For thirty-five years he was a justice of the peace 
in his township and as such officer he made his annual 
report according to the requirements of the law, yet 
in the most unique way, since during the peaceful 
time of his administration no cases of any conse- 
(\\\vYi('i\ cixmi) up during the latter years, allowing the 
officer to invent liis report as his fancy might dictate. 
The to])ics of the day were sometimes dissected in a 
\v;iy w hicli indicates the humor of the man. 



Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 41 

He said in one place during the past year that ' ' the 
only important thing in my life is that I have always 
been a Democrat in politics, and have never been a 
member of any church, society or club." He doubt- 
less refers to fraternities here since he was an active 
member of the Old Settlers' Association which his 
father helped to found in the years 1861 and 1866, 
the preliminary meeting being held in the first year 
mentioned. In 1899 Gilbert Irish became the secre- 
tary and remained in this office until his death. Per- 
haps his ancestry which he traces to 1631, when John 
Irish came to Duxbury, and on his mother's side to 
the Quaker Rev. John Eobinson, of Leyden, made 
him indifferent to certain social organizations. His 
acquaintance with the old settlers and the incidents 
of their day made his contributions to the early his- 
tory of Johnson County of great value. 

Of his own home life beginning when he was mar- 
ried to J osephine Martha Strawbridge, a daughter of 
Jesse K. Strawbridge, a pioneer in Grraham township, 
one may say that it was spent altogether on the old 
homestead where his father had lived before him and 
where the associations of those early da^^s were al- 
ways suggested by the surroundings. He took great 
satisfaction in caring for these things, while thought- 
ful of others even to his last hours. It was then that 
the watchers by his bedside w^ere urged to take some 
rest and to refresh themselves, since he could be left 
alone. It may be noted here that his future wife and 
widow had been known to him since childhood. One 
daughter, Jane T., is the only child of the family, 
while to mourn his passing, besides his wife and child, 
are his one sister at the old home and his tw^o broth- 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

ers, Thomas M. of Dubuque and John P. of San 
Francisco, who are the immediate family. Thus his 
life, begun on October 30, 1837, and ended on June 4, 
1911, is closed. Almost seventy years in this vicinity, 
and then he was laid to rest in a part of what was once 
the old homestead. 

The material things of life are not the most lasting 
and they are very far from furnishing the most satis- 
factory results of one's life work. To the men who 
were instrumental in laying the foundation of the 
to^ra, county, state, or nation we are greatly indebted 
since the events which center about them indicate the 
true type of the American pioneer. 




Rev. Father Mathias Hannon, former rector of St. 
Mary's church in Iowa City, and one of the oldest 
priests in the United States, is dead at Darlington, 
Wis. Father Hannon was ordained in 1852, and his 
first charge was St. Mary's church in this city. He 
was here for about two years, and is well remembered 
by many of the older members of the parish. 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 43 

He also had a large number of other churches to 
visit, and was the first priest to say mass in Ft. Dodge, 
Marion and other cities of Iowa. He was accustomed 
to travel on horseback, carrying his vestments in sad- 

Father Hannon was born in Ireland, but came to 
the United States in early youth. He studied for the 
priesthood at Notre Dame College, in Indiana, and 
was ordained 59 years ago. Soon after leaving Iowa 
City he went to Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, 
where he preached for several years. For the past 
35 years he has been rector at Darlington, Wis. 




Tomorrow, November 22, 1910, F. X. Rittenmeyer 
will quietly observe his ninety-fifth birthday. For 
fifty-four years he has resided in this city and is still 
quite active for one of his age, making his regular 
trips down town and keeping himself generally well 
informed on the topics of the day. 

Mr. Rittenmeyer was born on November 22, 1815, in 
Augsburg, Bavaria. In March of 1848, he came to 
America and landed at the city of New York and from 
there he went to Philadelphia and later moved to 
Iowa in 1856, settling on a farm in Newport town- 
ship. Later he moved to Iowa City where he en- 
gaged in the wood handling business. His many 
friends will congratulate him at this time. 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

At a small family dinner party last Thursday, 
August 4, 1910, at the Stover home on E. Court Street, 
were gathered two of the oldest residents of this 
county, J. Y. Stover, aged eighty-seven, and his sis- 
ter, aged ninety-three years. Mr. Stover is closely 
related to the great Daniel Boone, his mother being 
a cousin of the noted pioneer. He has lived in this 
county 72 years with the exception of a short period 
spent in California during the gold rush there. His 
sister, Mrs. Benjamin Ritter, was the first white wom- 
an married in this county, that event taking place in 
1839. Her mind is remarkably clear and strong in 
remembering the earlier manners and customs in 
vogue then and it is extremely interesting to hear her 
converse on pioneer days. 

OF AUGUST 25, 1910 

A young c3^clone" swept across the northeast end 
of town and contiguous territory, before dawn today, 
and inflicted large damage on property belonging to 
David Borts and M. C. Parsons. 

The cloud swiftly crossed the eastern sky about 
2:30 o'clock, and sped in a northeasterly to easterly 

At the Borts orchard, it dashed to the earth, and 
tlie whirling wind cleanly uprooted 23 apple trees, 
as neatly, as if a ^'grubber" of Herculean propor- 
tions liad bored into the earth and torn up the trees. 
An elm was twisted oft* its underpinning, and other 
damage was inflicted. 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 45 

At the Parsons liomestead, it uprooted 10 trees iu 
just as thorough and artistic fashion. 

Seven apple trees, two cherry trees, and a box elder 
yielded to the violence of the wind. But in the pas- 
ture, the lightning struck a poplar, and tore it to 
pieces, completing the wreckage of an even dozen of 

Oddly enough, the poplar was in a group of closely- 
intertwined trees, three in number. The bolt cut the 
object of its animosity out of the trio, as if it were 
alone, and never harmed the other two. 

The wind hit the Parsons arbor, also, and laid it 
low over many square rods of land. The grape crop 
is thus ruined, as the 200 chickens in the Parsons 
hennery proceeded to ^^get busy" this morning, de- 
vouring the tiny fruit and juicy tendrils. 

At Memler's grocery store in the North End, the 
cyclone smashed in a plate glass window, and blew a 
million flakes of oatmeal all over the store. Then the 
rain poured into the building. Fortunately, the stock 
was protected, however, except as noted. The same 
wind shattered the Memler chimney. 

A violent wind sweeping about the city struck the 
Paul-Helen block, now building, and inflicted consid- 
erable damage thereon. 

The cornice at the top of the structure's front was 
hammered hard, and dismantled here and there. 
Fortunately the work can be easily repaired, as the 
main portion of the front was not injured. 

Had the same wind hit the building from a diifer- 
ent angle, the uncompleted front might have been 

The storm notes are given to show the weather con- 


Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the 

ditions a few hours before the picnic. By noon of the 
25th the ground was dry and the weather as pleasant 
as could be desired, only uprooted and torn trees re- 
mained to tell of the storm. 


Euclid Sanders Avas chosen to head the old settlers' 
association of Johnson County for the coming year. 
He succeeds A. Schwimley who has efficiently filled 
the post during the past year. The other officers for 
the organization were also chosen. The officers of 
the association now are as follows : 

President, Euclid Sandeks. 

Vice-President, Joseph Walkee. 

Secretary, GriL E. Ikish. 

Treasurer, Betjce Moore. 

HAD BIG attendance 

Those who attended the reunion yesterday declared 
that it was one of the most enjoyable and best attend- 
ed in years. A great many people were in attendance 
from all parts of the county, especially from the west 
and south where there had been but little rain the 
night previous. The speaking by Sen. E. G. Moon 
and the reminiscences by Col. W. P. Hepburn were 
especially enjoyed. 

The necrological rejjort by G. P. Irish shows that 
during the past year one hundred and twenty of the 
old settlers have been called by death. Among them 
was one of the charter members of the organization, 
Jesse K. Strawbi'idge. There were also in the list 
two ex-presidents of the association in the persons 
of Charles Baker and A. E. Swisher. 

Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 


After many years of service Mr. Wieneke asked to 
be relieved frora further service as treasurer and 
Mr. Moore was elected in Ms place. 


The president selected the following members of 
the association to serve as the Executive Committee 
for the year 1911 : 

Heney J. Wieneke 


Emoky Westcott 
R. B. Geaham 
Lemuel Huntee 


Henry Wieneke started a movement which resulted 
in presenting to G. R. Irish a fine fountain pen. This 
was as an appreciation of his services in preparing 
the proceedings of the Old Settlers' Association for 
the printer. 

The secretary has only to say that he declines to 
accept the useful present as a reward for any services 
he may have performed for the Old Settlers' Asso- 
ciation, for it has always been a pleasure to him to 
serve in any and all positions assigned him without 
pay, but the pen is cherished as a token of the friend- 
ship of the donors that is more valuable than gold and 
more enduring. 

48 Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting 


The working committees who made the meeting a 
success, despite the weather, are as follows : 


E. C. Cliffoed, E. B. Wilso^^, Lemuel Hunter. 


Rev. a. Schwimley, O. A. Byington, George 


on invitations 

Matthew Cavanagh, Charles Baker, Milton 

ON necrology 

Mrs. G. R. Irish, G. R. Irish. 

To the retiring president and the members of the 
several committees the thanks of the members of the 
association are due for the prompt performance of 
the duties assigned them. 

The fine portrait of the late Gilbert R. Irish in this issue of 
the proceedings was presented to the Society by the Johnson 
County History Company, in advance of its publication in the 
History of Johnson County which will be soon ready for distribu- 
tion. Much of the matter in these volumes was contributed by 
Mr. Irish.